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Dave Simpson

The Jacksons - review

"They wanted to tear down this family's name," the four remaining Jacksons told this paper recently, referring to the controversies which dogged their late brother Michael before his untimely death in 2009 – everything from unproven child molestation al

Girls Aloud - review

Arena, Newcastle A decade ago, when reality TV show Popstars: The Rivals pitted Girls Aloud against favourites One True Voice, you wouldn't have put money on the female underdogs making it past the series' end. More than 10 years later, their boyband

Johnny Marr: The Messenger - review

(Warner Bros) After over two decades of collaborations with everyone from The The to the Cribs, Johnny Marr 's first solo album proper (2003's Boomslang, fronting the Healers, shouldn't count) finally edges back towards his Smiths vintage guitar playing

Caitlin Rose: The Stand-In - review

(Names Records) Nashville 25-year-old Caitlin Rose 's 2010 debut, Own Side Now, won deserved plaudits, but this second effort really ups her game. With pedal steel, Wurlitzer organ, slide guitars and strings, The Stand-In pitches somewhere between count

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds: Push the Sky Away - review

(Bad Seed Ltd) After the tongue-in-cheek garage noise of his Grinderman project, Cave and co have slowed the tempo. The Bad Seeds' 15th album, the first without longstanding cohort Mick Harvey, features funeral-paced songs and stripped-down music tha

How we made: New Order's Gillian Gilbert and designer Peter Saville on Blue Monday

In 1983, before computers came along, it wasn't easy to do electronic basslines and rhythms. So [New Order vocalist] Bernard Sumner started building these gadgets called sequencers. Next, we thought it would be good to create a song that was completely el

Dutch Uncles: Out of Touch in the Wild - review

Memphis Industries Dutch Uncles haven't enjoyed the top 10 success of fellow brainy Manchester electro types Everything Everything, a fact this third album seems to want to remedy. They've kept the unusual time signatures, jerky basslines and Duncan Wa

Frightened Rabbit: Pedestrian Verse - review

(Atlantic) Currently enjoying success in the US, Glasgow-based Frightened Rabbit are long overdue a breakthrough closer to home, and perhaps Pedestrian Verse will deliver it. Like some of their Scottish predecessors, from Big Country to Glasvegas,

The 1975 - review

Soyo, Sheffield The widely predicted return of guitar bands in 2013 has led to glances towards the 1975 as potential leaders of the pack, with tips coming from the usual suspects. In fact, after various name changes - eventually taking the 1975 from a

Paloma Faith - review

Academy, Leeds Paloma Faith begins by reflecting on her days as a burlesque performer, when she and her fellow dancers waited to be whisked away by the "giver of dreams". Two platinum albums and two Brit nominations later, she has been. However, in s